Saturday, September 22, 2012

Susan Sharpe Waddell Hsu '15x


Susan S. Waddell Hsu’15x (Mrs. Hsu Shih Chu) transferred from Wilson College to the University of Pittsburgh. She was murdered in China in 1935 while riding in a rickshaw on her way to work. She had been head of Physiological Chemistry at the Medical School of Tsinan.

Alumnae Quarterly November 1935: 
Bandits Kill Wilson Alumna in China.
Wilson College has for the second time within a year heard of the tragic death of an alumna serving as a missionary in China. The New York and Philadelphia newspapers have reported the death of Dr. Susan Sharpe Waddell Chu (Hsu), a member of the Class of '15. Although few details are available, it is believed that Dr. Chu was slain by robbers who waylaid her rickshaw. Dr. Chu was head of the department of physiological chemistry in the Medical school of Tsinan, China. She was known in China as Dr. Hsu Shih Chu.  The October 24 issue of the The Presbyterian painted the following article concerning Dr. Chu:

"Mrs. Susan Sharpe Waddell Chu, wife of Dr. Hsu Shih Chu, a professor at Central University, Nanking, China, was found slain on October 15, near Nanking, apparently strangled by Bandits. For twelve years Mrs. Chu had been a medical missionary in China under the Board of Foreign Missions. She was the daughter of Dr. John M. Waddell, a former pastor of the Bellevue Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but now residing in Mill Valley, California. She was always at the head of her class at the University of Pittsburgh and Medical School. She had a real sense of humor, and was one of the most beloved college girls of her day. She had been in laboratory work in the Orient, and had planned for a further career in China, where she hoped to establish medical stations in some of the outlying regions."

Wilson College classmate and fellow missionary, Theodora Gleysteen's tribute to Susan Waddell appeared in the Alumnae Quarterly.

From the Clearfield Progress, Clearfield, PA, Wednesday, October 16, 1935:
Chinese Missionary, Born in Clearfield, Killed by Bandits
In far away Nanking, China, authorities hunted today for the slayers of Dr. Susan Waddell, 39, former Pennsylvania girl who was found strangled in a ditch.The body of Dr. Waddell, who spent 15 years in China teaching medicine, was found yesterday. She apparently had been killed by bandits. Dr. Waddell was a native of Clearfield, PA, born there while her father, the Rev. J.M. Waddell was pastor of a Presbyterian Church. She lived in Charleston, W. Va., from 1908 to 1912 when she entered a private school in Pittsburgh. Dr. Waddell was graduated from the University of Pittsburgh school of Medicine in 1920 and for a time did research for the Rockefeller Foundation. She went to China in 1921 but returned two years later for further study. Three years ago she married Dr. Hsu Shih Chu, Chinese physician. Friends in Pittsburgh were told that a month before Dr. Waddell's death she wrote to California that "when I hear and read all of what is going on in Europe and Africa, I think China is the safest place of all."

From the Danville Register Bee, Danville, VA, January 15, 1937:
Murderer of Dr. Susan Waddell Hsu Found in China; Rickshaw Runner
The woman referred to in the following dispatch, Dr. Susan Waddell Hsu, was the daughter of a former pastor of the Clearfield Presbyterian Church and was born in Clearfield. Accounts of the terrible tragedy to befall Mrs. Hsu were carried in the Progress recently. "Nanking, January 15 - The fifteen month old mystery of the death of Dr. Susan Waddell Hsu, formerly of Berkeley, California, was solved Friday with police announcement - a "rickshaw coolie had confessed her slaying. The body of the American woman was found in a ditch beside a lonely Nanking road Oct. 15, 1935. Police said Liu Yung-Hsing, the coolie, had confessed strangling and robbing her. Liu will be strangled Saturday."

Note - the newspaper really does say that Liu will be strangled. It is unclear if it was supposed to say 'executed' instead.

Note - an 'x' following a graduation year indicates that the student did not graduate from Wilson College, but had previously been a member of the class.

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